Rimworld Ancient Danger Guide

Rimworld Ancient Danger Guide

If you enjoy indie games and love the colony survival genre, then you have definitely dipped your toe in the muddy and tumultuous waters of RimWorld. The beauty of this game and the reason why it has such a cult following is the ludicrous stories that often come with the punishing yet rewarding gameplay.

The AI system that powers these stories does so by continually throwing amazing and random problems at the player throughout their run. This results in a game that continues to impress fans year after year since its initial release in 2018.

One of the key ways this AI manages to change the player’s experience is by manipulating the map your colony was unlucky enough to crash on each time you start a new game. The structures you come across help to keep the excitement alive.

One of these rare structures is called an Ancient Shrine, more commonly referred to as Ancient Dangers in the community.

In this Rimworld Ancient Danger guide, we will be looking at these Ancient Shrines and the danger that lies within, how one can identify these structures, and what to do with them. So, if that sounds interesting to you, stick around and find out what they’re all about.

What is an Ancient Danger?

An Ancient Danger is more of an event than an actual location on the map. These events are only triggered when one of your many colonists comes across an Ancient Shrine. 

ancient shrine rimworld
Image from Rimworld Wiki

Where and Why?

Ancient Shrines and the dangers they entomb are only guaranteed to spawn on large colony maps and have a percentage chance of spawning on small and medium maps. It is incredibly rare for more than one Ancient Shrine site to spawn on any map other than a large one. 

You can often find these structures either partially or completely covered by some kind of rock formation when exploring the wider world with a colonist.

Finding the Structure

However, when you do find one on the map, it usually looks like a large structure made of either steel or stone walls. These walls are often completely intact and unscathed by the factors that have ravaged the rest of the planet’s surface. However, it is also possible to find one with damaged walls that will instead act more like a ruin than a shrine.

When the player’s colonist wanders within the structure’s range to uncover the location, the game will ping the player by saying, “As (Colonist Name) draws near the ancient wall, a sense of foreboding overcomes him. (S)He isn’t sure why, but (s)he feels this dusty structure may contain great dangers.”

This random event should set your colony on high alert and usher you to begin setting up some sturdy defenses, whether you intend to engage or not in the near future with the location.

If this little bit of exposition doesn’t make you worry, then you have probably played a few too many games of RimWorld. After all, I can barely deal with a little bit of flu running ragged through my camp, never mind some mythical Ancient Danger lurking just outside my colony.

What If I Walk Away?

You might be asking yourself at this point whether you can just leave an Ancient Shrine alone, cut your losses, and hope to keep your colony alive for yet another day. 

The decision whether to engage with an Ancient Shrine or not will really come down to where you’re at with your colony and your ability to stomach a setback or negative event. Many players tend to leave a location like this until later in the game. 

Alternatively, leaving an Ancient Danger how and where it is can help the player sure up their own defenses, using the massive structure as a naturally occurring barrier against enemies and hostile factions. Of course, this would require a little bit of luck on your part, having the incredibly rare structure spawn in a useful location.

Ancient Danger shrine

Deciding to Engage

If you and your colony are in the right place to deal with the possible negative consequences of an Ancient Danger, you will want to do a couple of things before sending your most capable man or woman into the structure.

  • Get equipped: Only when one of your colonists is fully equipped with some of the best weapons and armor available to the player at the time should you send them into an Ancient Shrine. 
  • Prepare to lose: Opening one of these structures, regardless of the equipment your colonist has, can result in their almost immediate death. Therefore, perhaps send someone you don’t mind sacrificing to some horrid alien creature. 
  • Scout the area: Now that your possible sacrifice has been geared up, search the area nearby the shrine and plan for any possible negative consequences and an escape route.
  • Put your colony on war footing: The best offense is a good defense, they always say. This is as true in RimWorld as it is in basketball or football. Therefore, before you even think about opening an Ancient Shrine, first make sure your colony is in a state wherein they can repeal any attacks emanating from the building. This also means waiting to open the shrine until your colony is in the best possible state to bounce back from any negative outcomes.

What Could be Inside?

While the name ‘Ancient Danger’ gives us negative connotations, there is a decent chance that this structure might actually have something useful for the player and their colony inside. 

rimworld ancient danger fire
Image from Rimworld Wiki

Positive Outcomes

  • Valuable resources that your colony may need to survive.
  • New and advanced technology.
  • Cryptosleep Caskets containing ancient humans from a neutral faction.
  • Ruined objects and crates.

Negative Outcomes

  • Attacks from Mechanoids, Insectoids, or Psychic Aliens.
  • The death of your entire scouting crew.
  • The newly awakened danger attacks the colony.
  • Cryptosleep Caskets containing ancient humans from a hostile faction.
  • Downed or dead humans.

Dealing with Ancients

When you come across ancient humans, whether they be friendly or hostile, the player will want to capture them in order to bring their useful resources into their colony. The best way to do this is through heat exposure via fire.

By blocking all the exits from the shrine, the player can set fire to the inside of the structure, raising the overall temperature of the building to 200 centigrade. Next, you should shoot one of the crypto sleep caskets to wake up the ancients. Doing this at this temperature will immediately down the humans as they suffer from heatstroke upon waking.

This tactic will then allow the player to strip the ancients of all useful resources and technology while keeping them alive.

What are the Chances?

The specific chances of receiving a positive or negative result when opening an Ancient Danger are unknown; however, it is widely accepted that you are far more likely to receive a negative consequence than a positive one.

While there may not be a foolproof way to tell whether these structures have positive or negative consequences waiting within, you can check out the structure to ensure it is not a literal mechanoid cluster. 

These types of Ancient Dangers, which contain hordes of mechanoids, typically appear as large metallic structures. These locations have a central core with several branching arms running into the nearby land. In this specific type of Ancient Danger, the player can also find advanced components and advanced AI chips once the mechanoids have been cleared out.


Question: What Does Ancient Danger Mean in RimWorld?

Answer: As the even card that activates upon the discovery of an Ancient Shrine is called an Ancient Danger, these structures are commonly referred to as the latter. These locations are massive, secure rooms that are completely covered and sometimes found underneath natural rock formations.

Question: What If I Can’t Find an Ancient Shrine on my Map?

Answer: If you cannot find an Ancient Shrine on your map, you can cheat one of these structures onto your map by going into the options menu and enabling the developer mode to remove the fog. 

Question: Can you Recruit Ancients in RimWorld?

Answer: Yes, you can recruit ancients in RimWorld. While ancients are one of the better things you can find in these Ancient Shrines, they can be very hard to recruit at the best of times. To do so, you will need to knock them unconscious before you fully move into the shrine. This is best done using heat exposure, knocking them out via heat stroke, as detailed above.

Rimworld Ancient Danger Guide: Conclusion

While Ancient Shrines and the dangers inside them may be one of the most pivotal locations for the continued survival of your colony, it is near impossible not to delve into the locations and find what little treasures may be waiting for the player.

This is why so many people find their hours of hard work wiped out by ancient dangers lurking beneath the surface. 

Hopefully, this guide has given you some idea about the dangers within the structures and what you can do to mitigate any potential dangers to your colony. Perhaps, you might even emerge victorious from this location with a bit of luck.

Regardless, I hope you enjoyed this deep dive into the Ancient Dangers of RimWorld and learned something. Good luck with your next AI-driven space adventure.

Read More:
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• Best Rimworld Mods Worth Trying to Get You Back into the Game

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